Monday 21 October 2019

Dublin Lord Mayor defends spending more than €500 entertaining regulars from his local pub

Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring. Picture: Collins
Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring. Picture: Collins

Ryan Nugent and Aine Kenny

THE Lord Mayor of Dublin has defended spending more than €500 of taxpayers’ money on regulars from his local pub.

The money was spent on catering when they visited the Mansion House.

Cllr Nial Ring said they were constituents who had supported him for many years and were among the first he invited to his official residence after becoming Lord Mayor in July.

The Independent councillor has come under fire in recent weeks for the amount of beer that has been consumed since he arrived at the Mansion House.

Some 215 kegs were provided free under a long-standing deal the Mansion House has with Diageo and the Guinness family.

It was further revealed that Dublin City Council then spent €15,280 when the kegs ran dry.

Figures obtained by Independent.ie have revealed that more than €21,000 was spent on red and white wine between July last year and February this year.

The Mansion House said that “red and white wine is purchased for use at official functions hosted by the Lord Mayor”.

No detailed information is given for each event, but one is marked as a charity ball hosted by Mr Ring.

It was reported that Mr Ring invited about 50 people from his local area to the Mansion House.

This was just over two weeks before today’s polling day in the local and European elections.

Constituency rival Eilis Ryan has called for the Lord Mayor to include the spending on alcohol in his election expenses.

Asked about the catering expenses for the locals in his area, Mr Ring said he brought in regulars from the Annesley House pub and provided them with food and drink.

“Part of hosting any event, whether it’s a voluntary group, whether it’s a group of friends, neighbours or local communities or local volunteers is that we’d also provide a bit of finger food.

“When I got in to the Lord Mayor’s office, the first groups I would have brought in would have been family and friends, so of course they would have been included.”

Further catering expenditure of €7,471 was spent on catering listed for the Lord Mayor’s Group.

This included €1,144 on hosting his family and €1,584 on hosting gardai.

It also included €1,199 on a Christmas night for council staff and €1,527 on Christmas receptions for various groups.

Just under €500 was spent on sandwiches and finger food for guests of Mr Ring.

In addition to the cost of alcohol for the 40,000-plus people Mr Ring has invited to the Mansion House since he became Lord Mayor in July, more than €13,000 has been spent on commemorative pens and pencils engraved with his name.

These are given to Mansion House visitors.

Another figure of €100 was listed as spent on socks.

The Mansion House has clarified that these were given by Mr Ring to those in the Progression Unit of Mountjoy Prison who took part in weekly park runs.

Herald

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section